About Nkosi Johnson

South Africa’s famous child Aids activist, Nkosi Johnson, was born with HIV and died at the age of 12 in 2001. At the time of his death, he was the longest-surviving child born with HIV in the country. He was posthumously awarded the first KidsRights Foundation’s international Children’s Peace Prize in Rome in November 2001 for his efforts in support of the rights of children with HIV/Aids, and his legacy continues to live on through Nkosi’s Haven, which houses and supports HIV-positive mothers and children.Nkosi rose to international prominence in July 2000 when he delivered his self-written address, televised worldwide, to 10 000 delegates at the 13th International Aids Conference in Durban. “Hi, my name is Nkosi Johnson,” he began. “I am 11 years old and I have full-blown Aids. I was born HIV-positive.

From one of America’s best known newsmen comes a heart-lifting story of the resilience of the human spirit in the face of the worst conceivable tragedy. Born into poverty in South Africa, Nkosi Johnson entered the world infected with HIV. He was given only a few years to live. But his ailing mother managed to cross her country’s chasm of race and class and find Nkosi a new home and foster mother Gail Johnson who stubbornly believed that every child’s life is important. Before he died at the age of 12, Nkosi had become – Nelson Mandela’s words – ” an icon of the struggle for life” for millions in Africa and around the world.